1841 – James Braid first sees a demonstration of animal magnetism, which leads to his study of the subject he eventually calls hypnotism.
James Braid (19 June 1795 – 25 March 1860) was a Scottish surgeon and “gentleman scientist”. He was a significant innovator in the treatment of club-foot and an important and influential pioneer of hypnotism and hypnotherapy. He is regarded by many as the first genuine “hypnotherapist” and the “Father of Modern Hypnotism”.
“Although Braid believed that hypnotic suggestion was a valuable remedy in functional nervous disorders, he did not regard it as a rival to other forms of treatment, nor wish in any way to separate its practice from that of medicine in general. He held that whoever talked of a “universal remedy” was either a fool or a knave: similar diseases often arose from opposite pathological conditions, and the treatment ought to be varied accordingly.” — John Milne Bramwell (1910)
Braid was the third son, and the seventh and youngest child, of James Braid (c1761-184?) and Anne Suttie (c.1761-?). He was born at Ryelaw House, in the parish of Portmoak, Kinross, Scotland on 19 June 1795.
On 17 November 1813, at the age of 18, Braid married Margaret Mason (1792–1869), aged 21, the daughter of Robert Mason (?-1813) and Helen Mason, née Smith. They had four children, all of whom were born at Leadhills in Lanarkshire. Two died in their infancy: James Braid (born 1816) and Charles Anderson Braid (born 1818). Two survived: Anne Daniel, née Braid (1820–1881), and James Braid (1822–1882).
Braid was apprenticed to the Leith surgeons Thomas and Charles Anderson (i.e., both father and son). As part of that apprenticeship, Braid also attended the University of Edinburgh from 1812–1814, where he was also influenced by Thomas Brown, M.D. (1778—1820), who held the chair of Moral Philosophy at Edinburgh from 1808 to 1820.
Braid obtained the diploma of the Licentiate of the Royal College of Surgeons of the City of Edinburgh, the Lic.R.C.S. (Edin), in 1815, which entitled him to refer to himself as a member of the college (rather than a fellow).
Braid was appointed surgeon to Lord Hopetoun’s mines at Leadhills, Lanarkshire, in 1816; and in 1825 he set up in private practice at Dumfries. One of his Dumfries’ patients, Alexander Petty (1778–1864), a Scot, employed as a traveller for Scarr, Petty and Swain, a firm of Manchester tailors, invited Braid to move his practice to Manchester, England. Braid moved to Manchester in 1828, continuing to practise from there until his death in 1860.
Braid was a member of both the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the Provincial Medical and Surgical Association, a Corresponding Member Member of both the Wernerian Natural History Society of Edinburgh (in 1824), and the Royal Medical Society of Edinburgh (in 1854), a Member of the Manchester Athenæum, and the Honorary Curator of the museum of the Manchester Natural History Society.
Braid was a highly skilled and very successful surgeon, educated at Edinburgh University, and a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons (M.R.C.S.).
“[and] though he was best known in the medical world for his theory and practice of hypnotism, he had also obtained wonderfully successful results by operation in cases of club foot and other deformities, which brought him patients from every part of the kingdom. Up to 1841 he had operated on 262 cases of talipes, 700 cases of strabismus, and 23 cases of spinal curvature.”
Braid first observed the operation of animal magnetism, when he attended a public performance by the travelling Swiss magnetic demonstrator Charles Lafontaine (1803–1892), at the Manchester Athenæum, on Saturday, 13 November 1841.
Braid was amongst the medical men who were invited onto the platform by Lafontaine. Braid examined the physical condition of Lafontaine’s magnetised subjects (especially their eyes and their eyelids) and concluded that they were, indeed, in quite a different physical state.
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1869 – Helene Stöcker, German author and activist (d. 1943)
Helene Stöcker (13 November 1869, Wuppertal – 24 February 1943, New York City) was a German feminist, pacifist and gender activist.
Stöcker was raised in a Calvinist household and attended a school for girls which emphasized rationality and morality. She moved to Berlin to continue her education and then she studied at the University of Bern, where she became one of the first German women to receive her doctorate. In 1905 she helped found the League for the Protection of Mothers (BfM, Bund für Mutterschutz), and she became the editor of the organization’s magazine Mutterschutz (1905-1908) and then Die Neue Generation (1908–1932). In 1909, she joined Magnus Hirschfeld in successfully lobbying German parliament from including lesbian women in the law criminalizing homosexuality. Stöcker’s influential new philosophy, called the New Ethic, advocated the equality of illegitimate children, legalization of abortion, and sexual education, all in the service of creating deeper relationships between men and women which would eventually achieve women’s political and social equality.
During World War I and the Weimar period, Stöcker’s interest shifted to activities in the peace movement. In 1921 in Bilthoven, together with Kees Boeke and Wilfred Wellock, she founded an organisation with the name Paco (the Esperanto word for peace) and later known as War Resisters’ International (WRI) the “Internationale der Kriegsdienstgegner”. She was also very active in the Weimar sexual reform movement. The Bund für Mutterschutz sponsored a number of sexual health clinics, which employed both lay and medical personnel, where women and men could go for contraception, marriage advice, and sometimes abortions and sterilization. From 1929 to 1932, she took one last stand for abortion rights. After a papal encyclical, the Casti connubii, issued on December 31, 1930 denounced sex without the intent to procreate, the radical sexual reform movement collaborated with the Socialist and Communist parties to launch one final campaign against paragraph 218, which prohibited abortion. Stöcker added her iconic voice to a campaign that ultimately failed.
When the Nazis came to power in Germany, Stöcker fled first to Switzerland and then to England when the Nazis invaded Austria. Stöcker was attending a PEN writers conference in Sweden when war broke out and remained there until the Nazis invaded Norway, at which point she took the Trans-Siberian Railroad to Japan and finally ended up in the United States in 1942. She moved into an apartment on Riverside Drive in NYC and died there of cancer in 1943.
6 Ways To Become A Better Listener
1. Listen to learn, not to be polite: Ask yourself, what am I going to be curious about today?
2. Quiet your agenda: Focus on what the person is saying, rather on how their views match up to yours
3. Ask more questions: This creates a safe space for the other person to give you the unfettered truth
4. Pay attention to your talk/listen ratio: Strive for a 2:1 ratio of listening to talking
5. Repeat back what you have said: This is a key step that can prevent misunderstanding
6. Actively wait until someone is done talking before you respond: No one likes to be interrupted
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